In the wake of increasing corporate disasters, there has been an urgent need to address the impact of business on human rights. Yet business responsibilities for human rights are mainly voluntary and best understood as ‘soft law’. Recently, however, States have begun negotiations for an internationally binding treaty in this area, suggesting that there is a need to turn to ‘hard law’ to increase the efficacy of business and human rights (BHR) initiatives. This article argues that because soft and hard law concepts are not dichotomous, BHR governance need not become ‘hard law’ to be effective. Rather ‘hardened’ soft law instruments can be equally effective.